What is Glycemic Index (GI)?
As when a person consume foods and drinks containing carbohydrates, the GI represent the total rise in a person’s blood sugar or glucose level.
The digestive system breaks down these carbohydrates from food and drinks into simple sugars, known as glucose. This simple sugar is then carried to each cell through the bloodstream.
The pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin, which helps the glucose to migrate from the blood into the cells.
Once inside a cell, the glucose is ‘burned’ along with oxygen to produce energy required by every cell in the body; it is the fuel used by the brain, muscles, and other organs.
Determining the GI of a food
Glucose, set at 100 and all foods are indexed against that number.
Low-GI foods provide natural, slowly released energy.
Carbohydrates that break down slowly, release glucose gradually into the bloodstream
A prolong digestion due to their slow break down may help with satiety (feeling full).
High-GI foods provide quick break down to released energy.
Carbohydrates that break down quickly, release their glucose into the bloodstream quickly.
A high-GI food causes a more rapid rise in blood glucose levels and is suitable for energy recovery after exercise or for a person experiencing hypoglycemia.
Low GI Foods (55 or less) (This is your target zone, look for foods with a low GI score)
Almost all fresh low-sugar fruits and vegetables
Medium GI (56-69) (use caution.)
This diet group contains starchy, sweet fruits and vegetables
High GI (70 or more) ( Try to avoid )
Almost all processed, high carb, and white diet foods are present in this category
Why is GI important?
Blood sugar is critically important for a diabetic as the body could not make sufficient insulin. They are depending on external insulin to provide the same action.
With a high GI food intake means a sudden gush of sugar enter the bloodstream but the body have problem to produce enough insulin to convert those sugar into energy and potential causing serious health problems.
Eating GI foods help to reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It help in :
# keeping their blood sugar levels under control
# improving body sensitivity to insulin
2. Heart Disease
Diet with a high GI tend to have increased triglyceride levels and lowered high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels. Both condition tend to increase risk of heart disease. While, low GI foods are mostly low in fat and rich in fibre that help to manage cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart disease.
3. Weight control
Low GI food commonly to be high in fiber and other nutrients; takes longer to digest so sugar is absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. Resulting to this, you will be less likely to experience a spike in your blood sugar level which allow you to feeling fuller longer. Therefore, less likely to overeat.
4. Increased physical energy
Low GI foods eaten 2 hours before endurance events, such as long-distance running, could improve capacity. The food are broken down or digested slower, in turn keep the amount of sugar in your bloodstream stable that promote physical energy.
6. Disease prevention
Individuals who followed a low-GI diet over many years were at a significantly lower risk for age-related macular degeneration.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that age-related adult macular degeneration (AMD), which leads to blindness, is 42% higher among people with a high-GI diet, and concluded that eating a lower-GI diet would eliminate 20% of AMD cases.
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** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease